Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recipes for natural mosquito repellents

Few things are more annoying to humans than the blood sucking insects known as mosquitoes and ever since the ancient times people have been experimenting ways to repel the insects. Today, the shelves in the supermarkets are  lined up with various chemicals to repel mosquitoes and many of us forget the toxicity of the chemicals. Fortunately, there are plenty of mosquito repellents that can be made from natural and non-toxic household products.

Blood sucking mosquito repeller needed
This blood sucking insect can be easily repelled
without the use of strong chemicals using natural
and non-toxic ingredients.
Every year, almost no matter where you live, as long as there are water available, mosquitoes will be around. The mosquitoes will find you no matter if you are in the woods, or in the middle of a major city. While some of us choose to live with the insect and accept the occasional bites from the blood sucking insect, others will do almost anything to get rid or kill the insects.

In the supermarkets today, a large number of different mosquito repelling solutions are sold. Most of these solutions are based on synthetic chemicals that can be more or less toxic to humans and the nature in general. Others are known as mosquito traps which operate either by burning gas or through electrically zapping the insects. The wide variety of different mosquito repellents that try to attract our attention very easily makes it easy for us to forget that there are ways to get rid of the blood sucking beast through nothing but natural and non-toxic household ingredients.

Issues with commercial mosquito repellents

Toxic chemical repellents
The overuse of chemicals for mosquito
repellents is never a good thing.
While there are several mosquito repellents sold in the supermarkets today that certainly are very effective to repel and kill mosquitoes, unfortunately, such repellents are usually associated with strong synthetic chemicals. The natural question is if you would like to douse yourself and your surrounding with a synthetic chemical that may repel mosquitoes but may also cause harmful effects to your health and the nature. 

What about mosquito and insect traps?

Gas burning mosquito trap
There are gas burning mosquito
traps. These traps are effective
but use fossil fuels and emit
tons of carbon dioxide.
If you insist on using commercial products, then there is an alternative of using mosquito or insect traps instead. These are generally divided into two categories. The first categories burn gas to attract the mosquito and kill them through heat. The idea is that mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide of human breath, and by burning gas, the carbon dioxide that is emitted will attract the mosquito to the burner and subsequently they will be killed by the heat generated by the flame. The natural question here is of course how motivated it is to burn fossil fuel to kill an insect when there are other effective alternatives out there.

Electric insect zapper
Mosquito and insect
zappers could be good
but should only be used
The second kind of mosquito and insect traps is based on electricity. These typically comprise of a fluorescent tube giving out a bluish color that is covered by a mesh of conducting wires of high voltage. The fluorescent tube is optimized to attract all kinds of night active insects by its UV to blueish color. When the insects come sufficiently close to the trap, the high voltage from the wires will emit a spark, zapping and killing the insects. While effective in killing insects, research has shown that the use of such traps result in a huge number of bacteria and other micro organisms being spread to a large area around the zapping point of the insect. Consider this the next time you sit down in a restaurant with these kind of traps. For every zap that you hear, you can be assured that there is a cloud of micro organisms making it towards your food!

Natural mosquito repellents

Despite what many are made to believe by the marketing powers. There are quite a few good insect repellents based on purely natural ingredients. The most effective ones are based on peppermint oil but repellents based on lavender oil or citrus oil can also be very effective. As an added bonus, the recipes for these natural repellents are very simple.

Peppermint-based mosquito repellent

    1. Take a small spray bottle.
    2. Pour about half a tea spoon of peppermint oil into the spray bottle.
    3. Add warm water and shake violently and well until the peppermint oil is evenly distributed in the solution.
    4. Spray the surfaces that you would like to act as insect repellents.
      This peppermint-based mosquito repellent is extremely easy to mix up and use due to the spray bottle. In addition, by spraying, for example, the table before you sit down around it to eat dinner, you will ensure that any mosquito will be not approach you without having to spray it onto yourself.

      Lavender- and citrus-based mosquito oil

      1. Get lavender or citrus essential oil.
      2. Put a few drops into each spoon of base oil, for example, olive oil.
      3. Mix the two oils together.
      4. Apply the oil onto your skin or other suitable surfaces that will not stain.
      This is a very simple recipe for a body oil that will definitely keep the mosquitoes away from you. Out of lavender and citrus essential oils, I would strongly recommend you to use lavender oil. The reason being that citrus oil can have the effect of making your skin sensitive to sunlight, thus resulting in you getting burnt by the sun more easily. However, if you cannot stand lavender oil, then using citrus oil could be an alternative.

      Of course, you could also use peppermint for the oil here, but peppermint tend to smell a lot more and as most people would not want to walk around smelling like peppermint, it is best used for static surfaces.

      Summary and final words

      The above describe a few different natural mosquito repellents, which actually also has the positive effect of keeping other insects at a distance as well. Which one that will work the best for you is difficult to say, but it is definitely worth to experiment. To be quite frank, the synthetic chemical insect sprays that we can purchase are good, effective, and in many cases safe for humans and in some cases even the only practical solution. But when possible, why take any risks at all when there are natural solutions available?

      No comments:

      Post a Comment